Dutch Oven is one of the most popular tools in the Kitchen. They are great for stews, deep frying and even baking. However, one of the worst thing about dutch oven is cleaning. Depending on the type you have, there are different cleaning method. Enamel Cast Iron for example will get dark over time. Cast Iron Dutch Oven can rust if you use soap. Stainless Steel will also get water stains and have odd color. This article will give you a complete guide on How to Clean a Dutch Oven from Cast Iron to Stainless Steel.
Cleaning a Enamel Dutch Oven
The Enamel Dutch Oven is the most common type of dutch oven. When new, the interior is a glossy enamel coating. Those with black enamel coating needs less maintenance. Over time, the enamel interior will become dark and matte. While you cant get the glossy coating back, you can turn it white again. There are a few ways to do that. The easiest way is via simple soap and water. A lot of time, that dark stain is just grease stain.
If that does not work, try soaking it in white wine vinegar. The longer you soak it, the easier it is to clean. Finally, you can always soak the stains in bleach, that should get most of the black stains out.
How to Clean a Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Before there was enamel dutch oven, there were cast iron. Cleaning cast iron is a whole different ball game. You cant just use soap and water. If you do that, you can strip the seasoning. When that happens, rust might start to form.
Luckily, most of the time, stews based cooking will leave little to no residue. However, in the instance that it does, you can use a piece of aluminum foil and salt. The abrasiveness of salt will lift up most stuck on food.
After you finish scrubbing a quick rinse of water and pat down with a paper towel will do. Dont let it soak in water as it can cause rust.
Taking Care of Rust and Brown Spots on Dutch Ovens
If it does start to rust or get brown spots. You can remove it with a sand paper. Other methods involve using a rust eraser. Either method will work.
After you strip the rust, its best to reseason the pot. To do that, add a thin coat of oil and bake it at 350 degree for half an hour. Repeat it as necessary.
How to Clean a Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
Stainless Steel looks great, but they stain easily. Harsh water will leave white stains and most people think its damaged. But really, all you need to do is dry it with a towel. If its already there, then you can use a product known as barkeeper friend. Its active ingredient is oaxlic acid and it will take care of it. Be sure to wear gloves when handling it though.
Burn on Grease Stains
Burnt on grease stains are the most difficult to clean. Heat doesnt even remove it. There are a few ways of cleaning it though. My preferred way is by soaking it in white wine vinegar. The longer you let it soak, the easier it is to clean. Another way of doing it is via oven cleaner. However, the fumes are strong and you should only use it in a well ventilated area.
Dutch Oven are great tools in the kitchen. However, cleaning it can be a chore. Perhaps the easiest to maintain are the enamel and the stainless steel models. You can use simple soap and water. But for bare cast iron model, great care needs to be taken. Dont use soap and dont let it soak in water. If it does rust, you have to strip it so that it doesnt get worse. Maintaining the seasoning is key to keep that dutch oven for a lifetime.
Need Help cleaning copper cookware? Check out our article on How to Clean Copper Pots and Pans.